Iraq convicts 2 in 2005 kidnapping of journalists

AP News
Posted: Sep 24, 2011 1:23 PM
Iraq convicts 2 in 2005 kidnapping of journalists

Iraq's highest court has convicted two men in the 2005 kidnapping of three Romanian journalists and sentenced them to life in prison, a judicial official said Saturday.

Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar did not identify the two men and would not provide more details.

The journalists were held for nearly two months as their captors demanded Romania withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Two other men were initially charged in the kidnapping. In 2007, a Romanian court convicted Omar Hayssam in absentia of ordering the kidnapping and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. And the journalists' translator, Mohammad Munaf, was initially sentenced to death for the kidnapping, but his conviction was overturned by an Iraqi court in 2008.

Also Saturday, gunmen killed a senior official with Iraq's Foreign Ministry in a midmorning drive-by shooting.

Police said Mazin Abdul-Wahab was gunned down with silenced pistols in Baghdad's western al-Jamiaah neighborhood, which is mostly populated by Sunni Muslims.

A statement on the Foreign Ministry website confirmed his death.